Incorporate the crisis lifecycle into your communications

Whether it’s engaging with employees throughout layoffs or preparing for and responding to reporters’ and consumers’ requests, plan your messages stage by stage.

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Crises can take many forms—sometimes arriving without notice to wreak havoc on your reputation.

Along with preparing for potential negative events before you must respond, McKinsey & Co. recommended setting your messages to match the crisis communications life cycle. In its “Leader’s Guide: Communicating with teams, stakeholders, and communicating during COVID-19,” the company provided the following life cycle for the pandemic’s response, along with employee needs for each stage:

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